Experience the best of New England with a road trip from New York City to Maine. From the city of lights to quaint coastal towns, you’ll experience pure Americana as you make your way up the eastern seaboard. During the fall, road trippers can peep the most spectacular fall colors on the mountains, making the drive even more magical. We put together the perfect road trip itinerary from New York to Acadia National Park with the best stops along the way like Boston, Salem, Cape Cod, Portland, and top attractions for a mix of scenic coastal towns, mountain vistas, and historical landmarks.
NYC to Acadia Road Trip Itinerary
The distance from New York City to Acadia National Park is nearly 500 miles and takes about 8 hours without stops. Choose your adventure with as many or few stops as you like along the way.
New York City, NY
Get a taste of the Big Apple – one of the most recognizable cities in the world for its vibrant entertainment scene and iconic structures like the Empire State Building and the State of Liberty. Take in the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps! Walk around Times Square and Central Park, watch a Broadway show, and visit the ever-popular Bronx Zoo.
Greenwich and Henry Whitfield State Museum in CT
From NYC, hug the coastline toward Greenwich Point Park for sandy seafront trails with views of New York City across Long Island Sound. There are beaches, swimming areas, and seaside parks where you can kick back and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Just an hour away and en route to Acadia, you can see the oldest stone house in Connecticut – The Henry Whitfield House – built in 1639.
Nipmuck State Forest in Union, CT
Take the scenic route for spectacular fall colors. You can drive through the Nipmuck State Forest en route to Massachusetts. The 9,000-acre forest land offers countless hiking trails and gorgeous natural scenery.
Cape Cod, MA
For sandy beaches, lobster rolls, and laid-back fun, continue driving along the coast to the Cape Cod peninsula instead of going inland to the state forest. You’ll pass through historic towns like Jamestown and Newport along the way. Take the Cape Cod Bay drive on Route 6A to Provincetown at the top of the peninsula. The drive is just 25 miles one way, but you could easily spend days exploring the beaches and other points of interest. You’ll need to loop back around before merging back onto Highway 1 via Boston.
Step back in time to the birthplace of the American Revolution. Boston is the capital city of Massachusetts and is famed for its rich history. Don’t miss the Freedom Trail – a 2.5-mile trail covering 16 nation-shaping historic sites like the Paul Revere House and the U.S.S Constitution warship from 1797. Immerse yourself in history at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum to see firsthand how this event changed the course of American history. Raise a pint in honor of one of the Founding Fathers at the Samuel Adams Brewery & Taproom. If you’re not planning to stop in Boston, take Interstate 495 to avoid traffic.
Just 30 minutes from Boston (without traffic), visit the infamous site of the 1692 witch trials. Walk historic streets at your leisure or on a guided tour to learn about the history and hauntings of Salem. There are plenty of spooky and not-so-spooky things to do in Salem, from ghost tours and witch museums to Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” movie film location walking tours and Salem Sound cruises. Visit during fall (aka spooky season) for an even more spellbinding visit.
Continue along the coast to Casco Bay, where you can explore more of the scenic coastline and Maine’s prominent lighthouses including the most famous, Portland Head Lighthouse. Portland’s Old Town District is a great spot to dine on delicious locally sourced lobster and craft brews with views of the bay.
Head north 2.5 more hours for your glamping getaway. With breathtaking views of the Maine coastline and Acadia National Park, Under Canvas Acadia is the perfect base camp for an NYC weekend getaway. Enjoy glamping on 100 acres of waterfront land, with more than 1200 feet of coastline, just 35-minutes to Acadia National Park hiking trails and outdoor adventures. Under Canvas Acadia allows you to explore the beauty of Maine by day and the comforts of home by night.